Magic Lantern Update Brings Clean HDMI And HDR Video To The Canon 5DMIII

The Second Version of Magic Lantern for the Canon 5D Mark III has been released! Most of the hype with Magic Lantern lately has been about the crack of the Canon 7D's firmware, but attention has shifted with this announcement. This video shows the power of HDR Video on the 5DM3. New features include smooth exposure transitions (ISO, shutter or aperture), HDR Video, focus assistants, and display enhancements like clean HDMI out. The video shown was made by Luke and Marika Neumann, from Neumann Films. Here is the feature set rundown from Magic Lantern's site.

Gradual Exposure

In movie mode, just change your exposure settings (ISO, shutter or aperture) and Magic Lantern will perform a smooth transition
Can be useful, for example, when filming from indoors to outdoors
This feature is new, and so far the 5D Mark III is the only camera that handles it almost perfectly

HDR video

Already well-known feature, helpful with extremely harsh lighting (see demo video) - of course, as long as you keep in mind its inherent limitations (like avoiding fast motion)

Focus assist tools

Magic Zoom (zoom box or full-screen - 2.6x while recording)
Experimental focus peaking modes (alpha blending, raw display)

Display tweaks:

Brightness, contrast, saturation (useful if you record with flat picture styles or you use the camera in bright sunlight)
Display gain (LiveView usable in very dark environments)
Anamorphic lens correction (preview only, in LiveView)
Fisheye correction for Samyang 8mm, using rectilinear or Panini projection (LiveView and Playback)
Clean HDMI out with pillar boxes (just erases the overlays)
Screen layouts, especially for HDMI (16:10, 16:9 etc)
Customize menu colors (e.g. dark themes - easy on your eyes during night shooting)
UniWB correction (attempt to remove the green color cast from the screen when you use UniWB)
Upside-down display (for inverted tripods)

Image review tweaks:

Adjust exposure after taking a picture (e.g. to check shadow detail)
Combine two or more images (multiple exposure preview)
Timelapse playback (no timelapse recording yet)
Remember zoom position

Other tools / tweaks:

Ghost image (transparent overlay from any photo, e.g. for panoramas)
Record indicators (free space, elapsed time, remaining time, average nitrate)
Movie logging (metadata in a small text file)
Display presets (custom overlay screens - switch them with INFO)
Task and CPU usage info

As always, use Magic Lantern at your own risk! Drop a comment and let us know if you've tried it out.

[Via: No Film School]

Mike Wilkinson's picture

Mike Wilkinson is an award-winning video director with his company Wilkinson Visual, currently based out of Lexington, Kentucky. Mike has been working in production for over 10 years as a shooter, editor, and producer. His passion lies in outdoor adventures, documentary filmmaking, photography, and locally-sourced food and beer.

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So basically, "The best firmware imaginable" that's all you had to say.  The best firmware imaginable.  :)

I've always been reluctant to install these but what are the risks? This seems like an amazing upgrade. 

 The big risk is potentially crashing or "bricking" your camera's internal system (firmware). Magic Lantern's site has a ton of information, and an active user forum that can give you some user-feedback on the process and experience. It is very much a do-it-at-your-own-risk project.

canon just announced a FW update that will bring clean HDMI.. but only in april 2013.

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., October 23, 2012 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced a new firmware update for the EOS 5D Mark III Digital SLR camera that significantly improves the camera’s performance and usability. In response to requests from professionals working in the fields of cinema and television production, the firmware update enables the use of uncompressed HDMI Output support, making possible more efficient video editing and monitoring procedures. Additionally, the upgrade supports the advanced needs of photographers through improved AF performance when capturing still images.

Uncompressed HDMI Output Support
When shooting video, HDMI Output makes possible the recording of high-definition uncompressed video data (YCbCr 4:2:2, 8 bit) from the EOS 5D Mark III to an external recorder via the camera’s HDMI terminal. This, in turn, facilitates the editing of video data with minimal image degradation for greater on-site workflow efficiency during motion picture and video productions. Additionally, video being captured can be displayed on an external monitor, enabling real-time, on-site monitoring of high-definition video during shooting.

Improved AF Functionality
Even when the EOS 5D Mark III is equipped with an extender and lens making possible a maximum aperture of f/8, the firmware update supports AF employing the camera’s central cross-type points (currently compatible with maximum apertures up to f/5.6). Accordingly, the update will allow users to take advantage of AF when shooting distant subjects, benefitting sports and nature photographers, particularly when using telephoto lenses.

The new firmware update will be available, at no charge, in April 2013 from the Canon U.S.A. website and can be downloaded by end users or through Canon Factory Service Centers.

I wanted to try it, HDR video seems really promising. However the download page is overloaded, too many people downloading this I guess since this morning it won't load. I'll have to test the 7D ML Firmware while it calms down

Still down today, is it just me?! I could download the one for 7D yesterday but not for my 5D3, the main site won't even load

I'm looking for clarification on the pillar boxing of the HDMI output. Assuming the full raster of 1920x1080 is being output via HDMI with this update, how many pixels do the pillars take up, and/or what is the actual dimension of the image area in pixels?

Question for anyone familiar with ML.  Does Magic Lantern  do contentious focus (AF) in movies mode?